You sort of expected your workers’ comp claim to be denied. After all, your accident took place while you were on your way home from work, so you weren’t surprised when you were told that your injuries weren’t covered. But now that it’s happened, you’re at a loss as to what to do next. Should you bother appealing the decision, or try to find some other way to pay for your medical bills while you’re out of work?
Exceptions That May Make Your Commute Injury Eligible for Workers’ Comp
If you were injured on your way to or from work, you will likely have trouble getting workers’ compensation coverage. Under Workers’ Compensation Law, employees are covered under the "portal to portal" rule, which states that workers are covered for injuries sustained from when they arrive at the workplace until they leave the workplace.
However, if your journey was somehow in the service of your employer, you may be able to get compensation. For example:
- Employer benefits. If you are injured away from the workplace in order to perform an action or duty that will benefit your employer—such as leaving work to meet with a client at his place of business—you should be compensated for your accident costs.
- Special requests. In some cases, a normal commute may be detoured to perform work duties. For example, if your employer asked you to stop on the way to work to pick up breakfast for a morning meeting, your trip should be covered by workers’ compensation.
- Sidewalks and parking lots. Most employers’ liability does not begin at the front door; parking lots and sidewalks in front of the business may also be covered by workers’ compensation. If you slip on a patch of ice or loose gravel on your way into work at the Morristown Walgreens Store, your employer is likely liable for your injury costs. However, many employers will deny coverage if they are in dispute about the location of the accident—leaving many such compensation cases to be won in court.
Want to know more about winning your workers’ compensation case? Click the link on this page to read through our FREE book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers’ Comp Guide.